|File picture of Chandrakanta Handique Bhavan in Jorhat, which houses the headquarters of the Asam Sahitya Sabha
Jorhat, Sept. 23: An extraordinary life that began on the banks of the Brahmaputra and was lived across three states, dedicated to the enrichment of Assamese literature, deserves an extraordinary tribute.
With this in mind, Asam Sahitya Sabha has planned a four-state yearlong celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of the doyen of Assamese literature, Sahityarathi Rasaraj Lakshminath Bezbaroa.
The literary legend, belonging to the Jonaki era in the late nineteenth century, wrote essays, short stories, plays, fiction, poetry and satires and gave a new lease of life to Assamese literature.
Bezbaroa started his career with a farce, Litikai, serialised in the inaugural issue of Jonaki magazine.
He wrote plays, including farce and one-act drama, historical works, biographies and autobiographies. He also wrote for children.
The stalwart also collected and compiled folk tales of Assam (Xadhukotha) and his short stories covered different shades of Assamese society, with a predominant note of humour.
The celebrations will kick off on October 14 at Ahotguri in Morigaon district — the place where he was born on a boat moored on the Brahmaputra bank, while his parents were moving from Nagaon to Barpeta.
Seminars, lectures on the icon, poetry recitation and staging of dramas penned by him will mark the celebrations.
Apart from Assam, functions will be held in Bengal (Calcutta), Delhi and Odisha.
The concluding function of the celebrations will be held at Dibrugarh in October next year, where the icon had passed away on March 26, 1938.
The vice-president of the Sabha, Paramananda Rajbonsi, told The Telegraph today that the literary organisation has planned yearlong celebrations as a befitting tribute to an icon whose works had taken Assamese literature to new heights.
He said a reception committee with Jagiroad (Morigaon ) MLA Vivekananda Doloi as chairman has been formed to organise the celebrations, which will kick off at Ahotguri on October 14.
The three-day inaugural function will be held at a small park (having Bezbaroa’s statue) constructed earlier in the memory of the literary giant.
Rajbonsi said chief minister Tarun Gogoi has consented to inaugurate an RCC bridge on the way to the site, which will be named after Bezbaroa.
He said the chief minister would declare a government project to develop the birthplace as a tourist spot at the open session to be held on October 16 during the three-day inaugural function.
The Sabha vice-president said all branches of the premier literary body across the state would organise various functions throughout the year to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary.
Rajbonsi said in November this year, the Sabha would organise a function in Calcutta for two to three days in honour of the literary giant.
“Bezbaroa spent his student life from college to university and had also got married in Calcutta and hence, a fitting tribute should be organised in this city,” he said.
The Sabha vice-president said early next year a function would be held at Sambalpur in Odisha.
Assam governor J.B. Patnaik (former Odisha chief minister) has assured them of his presence at the ceremony. He said the governor will help the Sabha organise the function as well.
He said the governor was taking a keen interest to acquire the house at Sambalpur where Bezbaroa lived for over for 20 years (from 1917 to and 1937) and produced the bulk of his work.
The Assam government is trying to get the house to conserve it.
Rajbonsi said a big function is being planned in New Delhi to popularise the doyen’s contribution to Assamese literature and correspondence with the Rashtrapati Bhavan was on get a date from the President.